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What follows is a satire intended for the public's instruction on serious matters of contemporary interest.
By Barry Rubin
ACT III, SCENE I.
Rome. Before the Capitol. Obama enters and walks to stage center.
Pollster: Obama! Beware the Ides of November!
Obamus: Begone, thou Teapartier!
Don’t you know that they all love me best,
since I have apologized with so much zest?
Besides, it is merely May, you fool,
And I’m here to ask all legislators to rule
sanctions against the Empire of Persia which
Is developing eight-horse chariots!
[At stage left, the conspirators stand and confer. It is amazing how many there are: Putin Russiaus, Markus Chinaus, and Metullus Syrius, Cassius Libyaus and Tiberius North Koreaus, Publius Venezuelaus and Nero Pakistanus, Caligula Brazilianus and Septo Bolivianus, among others. Then there are the many onlookers who are watching closely. Is Obamaus a mighty leader, to whom their knees must then bend or a wimp they can—indeed must!--defy to survive?]
Putin Russius: I fear our purpose is discovered.
Metullus Syrius: Be constant and fear not any at all,
For by our promises and cunning words will fall,
even the most mighty of our enemies.
They are naive and only see,
the world as they want it to be.
Rather than diplomacy as a brutal scrimmage,
they see other countries as a mirror image.
The cruelest tyrant, the men who bring terror,
they think are merely offspring of their imperial error.
Follow my example closely!
[He approaches Obama and kneels]
Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Obamus,
Metellus Syrius throws before thy seat
A humble heart.
Putin Russiaus: Oh, great Obamus [he snickers behind his hand]
Know my heart will never cease
Believing that you bringeth peace.
Publius Venezuelaus: Yes, indeed,
You who act so generous and noble
Should have a Peace Prize for your trouble.
Obamaus: [Reads off teleprompter]
I know that I have such great appeal,
but must beg you gentlemen not to kneel!
In my version of history we all are equal,
Though I cannot speak for the plot of the sequel.
True, such flattery as you offer me,
might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And make them arrogant, but, as you can see,
I am truly great, need not pretend.
Low-crooked courtesies and base spaniel-fawning.
I leave for the mass media to give me.
And now to business.
While other men might merely rage
I extend my hand and do engage.
But whenever it is slapped away,
I’ll show all that I don’t just play.
Tough sanctions I’ll pass and then enforce,
And thus for them it will be much worse
Of course too much one must not assert,
Only make sanctions that do no one hurt!
Metullus Syria [sneering]: Oh, great Obamus it is true
That deeply we do all love you.
After your Cairo speech we see
You’re the best president for rulers like me!
Markus Chinaus: I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Obamaus,
but in thanks. Your sanctions' proposal will not foil,
my selling to the Persians refineries for their oil!
But do declare I am in your debt
[whispered aside] And fear I might never get rid of it!
Putin Russius [falls to his knees]
Oh great Obamaus,
With the deal on the nuclear test,
You have shown you are the best.
And for the missiles you did remove,
from Poland have my feelings soothed.
Your sanctions' proposal in its latest versions,
let's me sell missiles to the Persians!
[Suddenly, all the conspirators stand up, reach under their togas and pull out pies. They throw them in Obamaus’s face. He reels and tries to steady himself. Then, last of all, Putin Russius steps up and smashes his pie right on Obama’s face and rubs it in.]
Obamaus: Et tu, Putin?
[He collapses and lies on pavement, trying to clean the pie off his face]
Mmm, rhubarb! How thoughtful of them to buy the flavor I love most!
No wonder of their love I freely boast!
Mettulus Syria [faces the audience and shakes head in disgust]
Thus, falls the man who really did not know
That one must lose if he lets weakness show.
Yes, reality's sad truth never spares,
one so naïve in international affairs.
To deter means that you must be rough,
For of all games this doubtless is most tough.
If a great power will not take the lead,
Soon on its carcass buzzards surely feed.
So we say to you, Obamaus, good-bye
Remember appeasement only wins a pie!
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His new edited books include Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict and Crisis; Guide to Islamist Movements; Conflict and Insurgency in the Middle East; The West and the Middle East (four volumes); and The Muslim Brotherhood. To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books. To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports.